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Razorback Greenway and other NWA Trail Systems


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Yeah, luckily even though the ribbon cutting is a while off and there's still lots of landscaping and such to do.  The trail itself is really pretty far along.  And as I mentioned earlier, the few sections not done are pretty easy to hit the streets and get around.  

Overall I've been pretty impressed with the trail.  This weekend was the first time I've gotten to see any of the Benton County parts and for that matter first time I've been on a number of the Springdale sections as well.  The main problematic area I see is the stretch of the Greenway on Powell in Springdale.  The trail there is basically down on the roadway.  It's been mentioned previously about the little plastic barriers quickly being mowed down by vehicles.  I've also noticed it hasn't taken long for road debris to build up on the trail section there as well.  But the biggest problem is the traffic.  There's a decent amount of traffic going off and on Powell on the side streets and businesses on the east side.  Even though I was in the right-away I've already had a few vehicles pull out or cut right in front of me.  I'm not sure if it was in Lowell or Rogers but I noticed an area of the trail there that was also in the roadway.  But there they had lots of signs telling vehicular traffic to yield to cyclists and pedestrians.  No such signs in Springdale.  Bot sure if they just haven't stuck them up yet.  Or if it's more of a city issue and Springdale isn't going quite the same lengths as some of the other NWA cities.  That being said, I'm not trying to scare people away from the trail there.  But I just think everyone on that section of trail need to be aware and be prepared to be a 'defensive rider'.

I totally agree with your assessment of everything but especially on Powell. They just shoved it in there in a poor way. Someone is going to get killed. Springdale is trying to improve their downtown and they need to put some solid focus on the trail system as it can drive business.

Selfishly speaking I wish at least part of the system was west of 49. There are no parks or trails west of 49. There is one planned in Elm Springs near County Line Rd but I wonder if it's actually going to happen. Regardless, you can't get to the greenway without driving or riding for many miles if you live on the west side of town.

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Thanks for all he updates, Mith. Lewis and Clark posted some pics on their Facebook page of the trail between downtown Springdale and the lake. Looks awesome!

A lot of the new sections of trail in Fayetteville held up pretty well to the heavy rains.  Particularly the Clear Creek Trail.  Johnson seems to be the 'flooding mecca' of NWA.  But I couldn't tell a

Thanks for the reports! Glad to see the progress.

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I think we're going to have to wait and see what they do with Powell.  It was not an ideal setup to bring a trail through with the existing suburbia.  I hope that they'll do the same signs they did in the northern part of Springdale for the on road section there.  There may also need to be some traffic calming measures taken to slow the road down now that it is so much narrower.  

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Had to get out and enjoy the nice weather before winter makes a come back today.  Noticed the section of Razorback Greenway around Caudle in Springdale is now paved.  And while I'm on the subject of Springdale.  I've noticed another annoying aspect.  People parking their vehicles on the trail itself.  Came across some vehicles today and actually came across a postal truck a few weeks back.  I know the trail isn't 'officially' open.  So I'm hoping things like this don't continue.  Anyway I had had plans to try to make it all the way up to Crystal Bridges from Fayetteville.  For some reason I was under the impression the trail was complete once you were north of Lowell, but apparently not.  made it as far as a Home Depot near a Red Lobster in what I think is still Rogers.  Now that I've traveled a little further and on it again that far north I've got a couple of observations.  I've noticed the trail around the Pinnacle Hills area seems older than the rest in Rogers.  I have also noticed that as a cyclist it's rather bumpy with those segments of concrete.  There's a few areas like that around a section of Lake Fayetteville as well.   But through some feedback from the trail users I think the city of Fayetteville isn't making concrete cuts like that anymore.  It was a bit annoying because it seemed like a bit of a long stretch made like that.  I also noticed a pretty low bridge a bit north of Mercy Hospital.  Now I'm sure I probably could have sat high up on my bicycle and not hit.  But still it's close enough that it makes me want to duck just in case.  I sit pretty high up on one of my bicycles.  Anyway just a few observations.  

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You missed a turn that's completely unmarked.  Once you cross under New Hope (past Mercy), you turn right on the sidewalk and follow it around to the right back up to the path along New Hope.  After you cross under 49, you turn left (again unmarked) to climb up to the street where you turn back north to cross the bridge and continue on.  I've missed both of those turns and had to double back.  After that it is pretty easy to stay on track until you hit the high school.  Right before you get to the school, you turn right onto a (light residential) street.  At the stoplight, you cross and go left on the trail which curves right at the end of the block.  You go north to the next light where you cross over to the other side of the street.  Halfway down the block the path cuts left at an angle.  At the next street crossing, do not follow the path to the left like I did.  Cross to the path on the other side.  Follow to Central where you cross and turn left.  T/R at A st.  Pass the park on your right and turn right.  Turn left into the big parking lot and follow the signs to Crystal Bridges  You'll turn right at an angle down a steep path to the museum.  When you're done there, you climb your way back the way you came to the trail at the top of the ridge, turn right to continue on to Lake Bella Vista.  It's pretty simple to stay on course the rest of the way.  

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You missed a turn that's completely unmarked.  Once you cross under New Hope (past Mercy), you turn right on the sidewalk and follow it around to the right back up to the path along New Hope.  After you cross under 49, you turn left (again unmarked) to climb up to the street where you turn back north to cross the bridge and continue on.  I've missed both of those turns and had to double back.  After that it is pretty easy to stay on track until you hit the high school.  Right before you get to the school, you turn right onto a (light residential) street.  At the stoplight, you cross and go left on the trail which curves right at the end of the block.  You go north to the next light where you cross over to the other side of the street.  Halfway down the block the path cuts left at an angle.  At the next street crossing, do not follow the path to the left like I did.  Cross to the path on the other side.  Follow to Central where you cross and turn left.  T/R at A st.  Pass the park on your right and turn right.  Turn left into the big parking lot and follow the signs to Crystal Bridges  You'll turn right at an angle down a steep path to the museum.  When you're done there, you climb your way back the way you came to the trail at the top of the ridge, turn right to continue on to Lake Bella Vista.  It's pretty simple to stay on course the rest of the way.  

I admit I did think it was odd that I was heading back towards the east instead of heading west.  But I guess I just never saw that turn, either way.  In a lot of places there are the Razorback Greenway signs out, helping me figure out what the actual trail is and what's just some sort of access trail.  But most of those tend to be pretty short.  Oh well, still got 50 miles in and now I know I have more to look forward to the next time the weather is nice on the weekend.  Maybe that trail I was on was the one I've heard mentioned that will connect up to Rogers' downtown area.  Makes sense because that seemed to be the direction I was heading toward.

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Thanks for all he updates, Mith.

Lewis and Clark posted some pics on their Facebook page of the trail between downtown Springdale and the lake. Looks awesome!

Yeah, I saw that too and know that area.  It's the area just a bit northwest of when it goes underneath 71 B.  

Also forgot to mention earlier, Fayetteville is now working on the section of trail on the west side of Walker Park.  Sounds like that section of trail will be worked on for the next couple of months, making the connection down to the future Town Branch Creek Trail connection.

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Went up past Emma for the first time today, turned around right around the same area at Mith242 did.  Distance from Central Fayetteville to the Village on the Creeks strip mall was about 25 miles, deducting a bit for some exploring and backtracking.  Took me quite a bit longer than expected, about 2 hours 20 minutes each way.  I'm not a fast biker, and wasn't trying to go fast, still thought it would take closer to 1.5 hours.  People on more efficient bikes in better weather could beat even that I'm sure.

 

Some random observations:

 

--some of the trail sections around the 49/north part of Pinnacle interchange are both steep and narrow.  Definitely not up to the standard of the rest of the trail. 

 

--I really like the prominent signage and intersection paint they did somewhere in the Lowell or Rogers area.  Needs to be done on Powell too.  I hope the painted intersections/streets thing expands more around the area, I've seen it in other parts of the country and think it helps.  

 

--Once you get north of Springdale, there's really nothing until you get to Pinnacle.  Lots of fields and the occasional isolated subdivision.  You won't be using that long stretch to get to retail/restaurants/bars/offices/factories/schools/whatever. 

 

--It really is 99% complete.  There's a couple fenced off areas still in Springdale, easy to get around using side streets.  Trail is also blocked near a gas station somewhere, easy enough to walk the bike around.

 

--Somewhat  hillier than I expected.  No showstoppers at least.

 

--There's a small fishing pond somewhere along the way, like a city owned thing or something.  Only section I encountered any rough pavement.

 

--I still wouldn't ride it during the week.  Too much construction equipment around.

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Went up past Emma for the first time today, turned around right around the same area at Mith242 did.  Distance from Central Fayetteville to the Village on the Creeks strip mall was about 25 miles, deducting a bit for some exploring and backtracking.  Took me quite a bit longer than expected, about 2 hours 20 minutes each way.  I'm not a fast biker, and wasn't trying to go fast, still thought it would take closer to 1.5 hours.  People on more efficient bikes in better weather could beat even that I'm sure.

 

Some random observations:

 

--some of the trail sections around the 49/north part of Pinnacle interchange are both steep and narrow.  Definitely not up to the standard of the rest of the trail. 

 

--I really like the prominent signage and intersection paint they did somewhere in the Lowell or Rogers area.  Needs to be done on Powell too.  I hope the painted intersections/streets thing expands more around the area, I've seen it in other parts of the country and think it helps.  

 

--Once you get north of Springdale, there's really nothing until you get to Pinnacle.  Lots of fields and the occasional isolated subdivision.  You won't be using that long stretch to get to retail/restaurants/bars/offices/factories/schools/whatever. 

 

--It really is 99% complete.  There's a couple fenced off areas still in Springdale, easy to get around using side streets.  Trail is also blocked near a gas station somewhere, easy enough to walk the bike around.

 

--Somewhat  hillier than I expected.  No showstoppers at least.

 

--There's a small fishing pond somewhere along the way, like a city owned thing or something.  Only section I encountered any rough pavement.

 

--I still wouldn't ride it during the week.  Too much construction equipment around.

I had been wondering if it was just me, but I was thinking the section of trail near Pinnacle Hills was narrower than the rest of the trail.  

I thought all that signage was somewhere in Lowell/Rogers as well.  But now I'm thinking it might actually be extreme northwest Springdale.  Which if that's the case you'd think they would also do something similar along Powell St eventually and just haven't gotten around to it yet.  

Yeah there is a pretty big stretch where there isn't a lot.  To be honest once you cross 71 B in Springdale there isn't much.  But it's possible that once the trail is established development will start developing along some of those stretches of trail.  That one small section that was fenced off is W Monroe in Lowell.  All that's there now is a new looking gas station.  But with it's proximity to I-49 I could see that area and others getting more development in the near future.  

I was also a little surprised it was hillier than expected.  I still think the worst areas are near Lake Fayetteville.  But there's some other steep areas as well.  

Still a lot of landscaping and other details to work on so yeah there will be work crews still out for a while.  So weekends for now are probably best if you're planning long rides.  Wasn't that long ago though that I was seeing crews out in Springdale on Saturdays and even occasionally on Sundays.  But I think they are far enough along that those days may be over.  Maybe some occasional last minute landscaping.  

I found the trail over all to be rather interesting.  Interesting how the trail is urban in some areas, suburban in others and rural and park-like in others.

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Anyone who knows the Fayetteville Trail system knows there are some sections of trail that can get flooded.  Most were back in decent shape by the time I went out cycling, except for that usual spot just north of Gordon Long Park.  But looks like I may have found another potential bad spot up in Springdale.  That low spot just north of the boardwalk area was still under quite a bit of water.  

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Forgot to mention the other piece of news I had.  While I was bypassing the bridge near Lake Springdale I noticed from a distance that I couldn't really see any construction anymore.  So on the way back I tried taking the trail and not bypassing it.  It does look finished there now.  But I ended up not following the correct trail.  I noticed the trail around Lake Springdale wasn't up to the greenway standards.  But looks like I ended up on the southern part of the lake and eventually I met back up to the greenway and it appears to follow the northern part of the lake.  So now there's not really any major sections you have to avoid.  Some sections are still somewhat blocked off but are pretty easy to get around.

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  • 2 weeks later...

With warmer weather finally returning got a chance to hit the Razorback Greenway again.  Things are pretty much at the same point in Springdale, still some work to be done in downtown Springdale.  Checked out the Lake Springdale area some more this time.  Turns out neither side of the lake is up to the typical Greenway standards.  It's not horrible or anything, but just not up to the same standards.  Not sure if there's plans to upgrade one side or not.  Honestly I have more concerns over sections in Benton County.  Managed to make it further along and actually make it into Bentonville a bit.  But have to say once you get past the Pinnacle Hills area and over to Einstein Brothers Bagels the trail gets rather confusing and over I was disappointed that there really isn't more signage.  At first there is some signage so I was able to figure it out although it's still rather confusing.  To continue on the Greenway past Einstein Brothers you're basically reduced to having to take what was a sidewalk that even seemed a bit narrow as far as standard sidewalks go.  And as I continued on the signs became less and less frequent.  Most of the trail past this point was on the narrow side and not up to the rest of the Greenway's standards.  And in today's case, the trail is literally right next to roads.  So with the recent winter weather the trail was completely covered with gravel and debris when they plowed the roads.  I'm still not totally sure if I somehow got off the Greenway and didn't realize it which would explain why I stopped seeing anymore signage.  Or if for some reason they simply just haven't have signage up in that area.  I eventually came across a sign telling me I was leaving what was referred to as the 'Rogers Greenway'.  Made it a little way into Bentonville before I came across a construction sight and went ahead and turned around.  Maybe I'm biased and maybe some Benton County people get confused down in Fayetteville when you start having more and more trails intersecting the Greenway.  And maybe because I'm much more familiar with the Fayetteville Trail system it doesn't bother me.  But just seems to me that Fayetteville and Springdale have much better signage over all compared to at least some of the sections of the Greenway I encountered in portions of Rogers.

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I went up to Rogers for the 2nd time yesterday.  Not much has changed...same section in Springdale still being worked on, same sign blocking the trail near the gas station.  Somewhat better weather this time so more people were out.  Also went on a 2-3 mile spur that goes east and ends at a trailhead near one of the Rogers high schools.  It starts near a Lindsey type apt complex.  Good trail aside from a narrow section that borders some large rocks, a barrier should be put in there. 

 

May have asked this before, but what is going in just west of the Amp?  Medium size, maybe 5 or 6 story building.

 

Also west of the Democrat-Gazette building, across 49, there's a building/facility/something with a secured parking lot and no signage.  Anyone know what that is?

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Hit the trail to hit the last couple of sections I hadn't been on.  The crossing under the train tracks is pretty close to my house so I started there.  There was a little standing water where the trail dips under Huntsville St.  I'd like to see a raised speed table type surface in some of these tunnels to keep the bikes out of the muck and channel the water out of the path.  The curve after crossing under Shiloh is a bit sharp and narrow.  I know the main surface had to be narrow to fit through the existing bridge structure, but a little more width on the curve would be nice.  I saw a lot of piles of trash from this weekends cleanup effort.  It will take a while to get to all of the trash that has made it's way to the creek.  I really like that the trail passes so close to where the creek passes under the stone.  The bridge across the creek to Lake Springdale was nicely done.  The old walking trail around the lake is in pretty rough shape and like the rest of the park's trails, not really wide enough for shared bike/ped traffic.  All in all, I am very happy with the Fayetteville, Johnson, Springdale, and Lowell sections where I will probably do most of my riding.  While the trail was not packed yesterday, I was never completely out of sight from another trail user.  This project is definitely long overdue.

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I went up to Rogers for the 2nd time yesterday.  Not much has changed...same section in Springdale still being worked on, same sign blocking the trail near the gas station.  Somewhat better weather this time so more people were out.  Also went on a 2-3 mile spur that goes east and ends at a trailhead near one of the Rogers high schools.  It starts near a Lindsey type apt complex.  Good trail aside from a narrow section that borders some large rocks, a barrier should be put in there. 

 

May have asked this before, but what is going in just west of the Amp?  Medium size, maybe 5 or 6 story building.

 

Also west of the Democrat-Gazette building, across 49, there's a building/facility/something with a secured parking lot and no signage.  Anyone know what that is?

The bldg is going to be the new Hunt Bldg.  You can find more info on it over in the Rogers topic.  I'm afraid I'm not sure what the other thing that you're referring to.

resized_99261-an-rogers-office-005_45-18

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Hit the trail to hit the last couple of sections I hadn't been on.  The crossing under the train tracks is pretty close to my house so I started there.  There was a little standing water where the trail dips under Huntsville St.  I'd like to see a raised speed table type surface in some of these tunnels to keep the bikes out of the muck and channel the water out of the path.  The curve after crossing under Shiloh is a bit sharp and narrow.  I know the main surface had to be narrow to fit through the existing bridge structure, but a little more width on the curve would be nice.  I saw a lot of piles of trash from this weekends cleanup effort.  It will take a while to get to all of the trash that has made it's way to the creek.  I really like that the trail passes so close to where the creek passes under the stone.  The bridge across the creek to Lake Springdale was nicely done.  The old walking trail around the lake is in pretty rough shape and like the rest of the park's trails, not really wide enough for shared bike/ped traffic.  All in all, I am very happy with the Fayetteville, Johnson, Springdale, and Lowell sections where I will probably do most of my riding.  While the trail was not packed yesterday, I was never completely out of sight from another trail user.  This project is definitely long overdue.

Who knows maybe we passed each other yesterday.   :lol:   Yes it would be nice if they would make some sort of improvements to at least one side of Lake Springdale.  But for now I can deal with it.  I'm still just surprised about the trail in sections of Rogers.  I guess I really was expecting it to be to the same standard as the rest of the Greenway further south.  I'm guessing that maybe it's an older existing trail that was simply incorporated into the Razorback Greenway Trail.  I don't want it to seem like I'm slamming that part of the trail.  But I was expecting it to be up to the same level that I've seen just about every where else.  I also hope they'll improve the signage.  After doing a little checking on the internet I do realize that I was on the Greenway the whole way into Bentonville.  Jut also wanted to clarify the construction that I came across looked like it was for some underground utility work, not construction for the trail itself.   Looks like it shouldn't be too hard to get around.  If the nice weather continues next weekend I might try going further north into Bentonville.  

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The bldg is going to be the new Hunt Bldg.  You can find more info on it over in the Rogers topic.  I'm afraid I'm not sure what the other thing that you're referring to.

resized_99261-an-rogers-office-005_45-18

 

Thanks much.  Here's a Google street view of the other building I wrote about, if you or anyone else might recognize it.

 

https://www.google.com/maps/@36.252271,-94.155056,3a,75y,266.9h,88.72t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sieKY5iAuU778Q4hcbVNH6w!2e0!6m1!1e1

 

The view from the trail was better...

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Tried making good use of the nice weather by trying to see how far I could make it into Bentonville via the Razorback Greenway.  Didn't quite make it up to Lake Bella Vista, a tunnel was flooded from the recent rain somewhere in northern Bentonville.  But think I was only a few miles away from the lake, so got pretty close.  So a few observations.  Seems like Bentonville and much of Rogers have a slightly narrower system of trails compared to what I'm used to see in Fayetteville.  Most of the Razorback Greenway in both of those cities existed previously before the Razorback Greenway came about.  So it seems any newer section of trail in Benton County, mostly in the southern part of the county does seem to be the slightly wider dimensions.  Once you get to the Bentonville High School area the trail merges to a residential road.  I don't mean the trail on directly on the side of the street like Powell St in Springdale.  The trail basically disappears a while and you have to take to the road.  But it does look like a smaller residential street.  The trail disappears again once you get near downtown Bentonville and you have to take to the streets again.  But it's not too far from the Bentonville Square and it's not too far before you get to the Compton Gardens and access the trail again near Crystal Bridges.  Everything I saw from the Crystal bridges area northward was nice and scenic.  Made it past Crystal bridges and I believe I was near and went past where the Slaughterpen mtn bike trails were.  Not too far north of that area is where I came across the flooded tunnel and turned around.  I'll have to pay a little more attention next time, but seems like much of Bentonville and Rogers uses white paint on their trail system.  So a lot of Benton County uses white while Washington County uses yellow.  Although I believe the newer section of trail in southern Benton County is also yellow.  Might be mainly just Bentonville and some of Rogers.  

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The Huntsville crossing was flooded as well. Easy enough to get around that one.

Yeah, didn't mention that one because it is easy to get around.  Not sure about the one in Bentonville though.  Looked it up, it's where 71B and I-49 merge in north Bentonville.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Anyone know of a good access to the trail near Lowell? I work at JBH and you can find the trail but no where to park and use it.

Not sure how they'd feel about people using their parking lot.  But there's a gas station on West Monroe where the trail goes by right next to it.  Would be nice if they put some more trailheads in.  Preferably scattered along the whole way.  There's a very nice trailhead near Mercy Hospital in Rogers.  Springdale is still working on their trailhead near Emma Ave.  Fayetteville will be making Gordon Long Park near Gregg into a trailhead.  Probably will be some others involved, but those are the ones I know about off the top of my head.

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Not sure how they'd feel about people using their parking lot.  But there's a gas station on West Monroe where the trail goes by right next to it.  Would be nice if they put some more trailheads in.  Preferably scattered along the whole way.  There's a very nice trailhead near Mercy Hospital in Rogers.  Springdale is still working on their trailhead near Emma Ave.  Fayetteville will be making Gordon Long Park near Gregg into a trailhead.  Probably will be some others involved, but those are the ones I know about off the top of my head.

Fayetteville Is also building a trailhead by the botanical gardens. It's not specifically for the Razorback greenway but would be a nice place to get to it from for those that live in the crossover area.

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